Librarian of Alexandria

XVI: No More Than Seventy-Three Million Atoms Away, or, Memo #558

The incident occurred at five forty-seven AM on the far reaches of the eastern suburb, about three-quarters of a mile from Road 78. Three of the vehicle's doors were missing entirely. No bodies were found, and no footsteps were seen leaving the upturned vehicle.

Investigators found and catalogued the following items from the scene:

  • Five cellphane-wrapped lemon-flavored candies

  • Four compact discs, none in their proper cases:

    • Neil Young's 'After The Gold Rush'
    • The Bestskimos' titular EP
    • Kathleen Battle's Mozart arias, scratched beyond playability
    • A burned CD-R, bearing two redacted titles and the third unredacted title "The Factory of All: A Labor of Hate"
  • An unlocked, empty jewelry box with a mother-of-pearl inlay in a floral pattern on the top

  • A jet-black parrot of unknown origin and species whose sole utterance is the repeated phrase, "recidivism leads the pack!"

  • A book in Hungarian whose title translates as, "The Long Jaunt: A Postemptive Protospective," autographed in orange ink by a man who did not write the book, addressed to "My Dearest Fußballschuh"

  • A mirror which does not show the reflections of people whose names begin with vowels

  • A bottle of Zinfandel dated to 1983 from an Austrian winery named Die Krummengel, of which no independent record exists

  • A perfect white sphere with no mass to speak of, such that it must be enclosed in a container lest it float randomly away from any gravitational source

  • A heat lamp (broken)

  • Three sides of fries, extra crispy

  • A small handwritten note, in blocky, awkward handwriting, on a pure, crisp, white piece of card, containing the following text:

    In the middle of night at the top of the sky
    By the redolent field in which buffalo die
    Come the last of those few lonely souls who will hiss
    All the prayers of the holy and awful abyss

After a short time, the police assigned to the case announced that all investigation would cease immediately. The items on this list were auctioned several months later. The fries were no longer any good.